Dealing with racial matters will be shared goal of NBA, NBPA when season resumes

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association on Wednesday said they've agreed that continuing to discuss and fight systemic racism will be a focal point during the league's restart in Orlando, Florida.

"The group that met agreed in principle that the goal of the season restart in Orlando will be to take collective action to combat systemic racism and racial inequality across the country," a joint statement said.

The meeting, which took place Tuesday, included NBA commissioner Adam Silver, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts and NBPA president Chris Paul. Hawks guard Trae Young, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon and Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell also were included.

The news release noted that while "specific plans were not finalized," they discussed plans to: increase Black representation across team staff, front offices and in the league office; work with more Black-owned businesses and vendors; and form a foundation that would aim to "expand educational and economic development" in Black communities.

The announcement comes eight days after Avery Bradley -- a co-leader of a players coalition with Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving -- told ESPN he would like to see the league increase diversity among top basketball decision-makers, partner with Black-owned businesses and make donations to organizations that serve Black communities.

"The league has a responsibility to our communities in helping to empower us -- just as we have made the NBA brand strong," Bradley said on June 16.

NBA players have been prominent participants in protests, calls for action on social media and charity events in the aftermath of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis on May 25 and Breonna Taylor's death in Louisville on March 13 at the hands of police.

Floyd, who was Black, died after former officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes. Chauvin has since been charged with murder. Taylor, who was Black, was fatally shot in her bed after police broke down her apartment door in an attempted drug sting.

Since then, Brogdon, Young, Russell Westbrook, Irving, Stephen Curry and Jaylen Brown are among dozens of players who have participated in peaceful protests.

"The issues of systemic racism and police brutality in our country need to end," Paul said in the release. "As players, we have taken a leadership role when it comes to using our voices and implementing practical solutions, but there is much work ahead both in Orlando and long-term to continue the momentum and bring about real, long-lasting change to our society."

The NBA is scheduled to resume games on July 30 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

Disney is the parent company of ESPN.